Smart revision and redesign eliminated many faults of the original

Smart Studs high-intensity road marker guidance system

 

SmartStud® is a road marker guidance system that is highly visible whatever the weather or road conditions. Each SmartStud® is lit with up to twenty high-intensity LEDs so in bright sun, darkness, fog, rain, snow or desert, they are visible up to 500 metres away.

 

SmartStuds® are inductively powered and have no direct wire connections! The cable sits just below the road surface meaning that the system is quick and cost-effective to install and run, as well as highly durable even in the heaviest traffic conditions. There are also solar powered versions giving even greater freedom of application.

 

To suit specific requirements, SmartStuds® are available in red, amber, white, blue and green LED options. They can also be made to flash in a range of flashing speeds and sequences.

 

Concept and design of the outer shell and LED holders came as a result of AXIAM engineers understanding the problems associated with the original unit being manufactured elsewhere at the time. Such problems as the flat lens face collecting dirt and blocking the lens. Impact strength varied depending on where it was hit meaning if a vehicle hit it at the wrong angle it could break. Stationary trucks turning wheels against them would rip them out of the road. It would only hold one set of LEDs and had limited room for design freedom of the internal components restricting the way the stud could be used.

 

AXIAM offered a new SmartStud® shell design which eliminated all of the issues associated with the old model. Multi directional impact strength was obtained by the symmetrical dome shape while still meeting the desirable height and foot print size as well as allowing the lenses to be on the specified angle. The small robust outer lip allowed turning tyres to slide on and over the unit instead of tearing it from the road, this also meant road clearing equipment such as snow ploughs would glide over them. The shape made it easy to have the option of 1 or 2 sets of LEDS if desired allowing the use of one stud for 2 directions which was previously not an option. Extra room inside the stud allowed for much greater freedom of application as the internal components could go in any direction if desired.

 

SmartStuds® are glued in place with special adhesives and take thousands of hits daily, from small passenger vehicle tyres to large commercial aircraft tyres. The average life span is two years, a failed stud is simply removed from the road and a new one glued in place as there are no electrical connections to make.

 

The stud shell is injection moulded in super tough extrusion grade, UV resistant polycarbonate and has built in lenses. The shell is then over moulded with a soft SEBS elastomer creating a base for the electronics, the LED’s and electronics are then assembled in place and another layer of elastomer is then injection moulded encapsulating all inside. The SmartStud® workings are now totally protected from the weather and impact. Some are further enhanced by a protective silicone hard coat applied in house, which offers strong scratch resistance and resistance to organic solvents like petrol and aviation fuel.

 

The combination of the hard PC shell and the soft protective TPE is very successful; the outer shell offers a small degree of flex while the shock is taken up by the elastomer inside protecting the delicate electronics and the soldered connections. Injection moulding the TPE without disturbing the many electrical connections was no easy feat and required many different flow paths to be experimented with before hitting on the right method.

 

Export performance has been exceptional as these SmartStuds® are found lighting the way in tunnels, roads, crosswalks, sidewalks and even used for aircraft guidance on the tarmac.

 

Distributed in New Zealand, Australia, India, Mexico, Canada, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Austria, Turkey, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Taiwan and the Middle East is a tribute to the success of this locally designed and manufactured technologically advanced product.

 

 

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